by Emily P. Walker
If a Martian visited Earth and wandered into a primary care physician’s office, he’d marvel at how inefficiently the average doctor spends his or her time.
The Martian might wonder why the primary care doctors sees 20 or 30 patients a day when many of the consultations could be done over the phone, which would make things easier for both doctor and patients.
At least, that’s what Larry Casalino, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, thinks a Martian would notice.
Because that’s what struck him as young doctor just starting out.
He marveled at the amount of time he spent doing nonmedical tasks, the unnecessarily frantic pace, and how, at the end of every day, he felt he had just narrowly avoided the Apocalypse.
Casalino laid out what he envisions as a better workday for a primary care doctor in an article in the May issue of Health Affairs — a theme issue entitled Reinventing Primary Care.
Casalino, who practiced as a family physician for 20 years in Half Moon, Calif., sat down with MedPage Today’s Emily Walker during a break in a briefing at the National Press Club to discuss how a total redesign, shift in thinking, and restructuring of payments could reap benefits for primary care physicians and their patients.
Emily P. Walker is a MedPage Today Washington Correspondent.